24 Septembre 2015
September 24, 2015
Sep. 24, 2015 - Updated 18:53 UTC+2
Environment ministry says it will better manage garbage bags holding radioactive soil and weeds in Fukushima Prefecture after hundreds of sacks stored outside were washed away by heavy rains.
Rains that hit northeastern Japan on September 11 carried away 439 plastic bags in Iitate Village. The bags contained tainted soil, grass and tree branches gathered from cleanup work after the 2011 nuclear crisis contaminated the region with radioactive fallout.
Environment ministry officials told an expert panel on Thursday that nearly 400 have been recovered though many were empty.
They said they will from now on register all the locations of the waste as well as the numbers at each place, despite the storage being temporary.
Officials also said they will move the waste to high ground or fix the bags them with ropes to prevent them from being washed away by heavy rain and typhoons.
Experts urged the officials to inform local residents of the levels of radioactive substances in the rivers where the bags were lost. They said the government should hurry to prepare intermediate storage facilities. Building the facilities is taking time due to negotiations with land owners and other reasons.
Ministry officials said they will check the radioactivity levels in the rivers and inform the residents.